In July 2004, I started Empaxis with nothing but a vision of providing investment managers a world-class back-office operations experience via outsourcing solutions.
Implementing the vision required establishing a solid executive management team and assembling a team of portfolio accounting experts to get the business off the ground. Before we knew it, we were delivering reconciliation and reporting services for hedge funds, family offices and wealth and asset managers.
I am very pleased to see what we have accomplished in the last 14 years, and it is so rewarding to hear what our clients say.
Getting to where we are now was no accident, and I’d like to share a few of the lessons I have learned in what it takes in providing world-class back-office operations outsourcing solutions for money managers.
Lessons in Delivering a World-Class Operations Outsourcing Experience for Investment Managers
Be Relentlessly Persistent
The concept of being persistent is my biggest takeaway from the last 14 years; forging ahead when the going gets tough has made our organization more resilient.
Just as Empaxis started developing its rhythm going into its 4th year, the 2008 financial crisis hit, and the disaster it brought to the investment management community needs no explanation.
Seeing advisory firms shut down left and right was discouraging, but we knew that if we were patient and remained persistent in anything that promotes the Empaxis vision, not only would we benefit in any economic climate, but we will help RIAs weather their own financial storms.
In addition to working hard in delivering a better value proposition to clients and prospects, we backed up our promises by implementing specific measures to improve the quality of our services:
- Commitment to producing higher quality reports in shorter periods
- Investing in automation technology
- Establishing defect tracking systems and reduction via Six Sigma
- Improving our leadership and communication skills
Following through takes work, but in the end, it pays off. As I think about where Empaxis will be in the upcoming years, I look back at how persistence got us to where are now, and persistence will get us to where we want to be in the future.
Just as you need persistence in anything that promotes the vision, you have to be consistent with those efforts; you can’t pick and choose when to bring your “A” game.
If you deliver a quality report once, deliver that same quality every time. If the clients are happy one time, they should be happy all of the time. Following through with Six Sigma has certainly been a big help.
We have learned that the way to be consistent is measuring yourself and measuring yourself consistently. Whether it’s to track performance or observe trends, comparing yourself at different points in time is the way you can check your progress and establish benchmarks.
A High-Quality Staff Is Everything
While consistency and persistence helped get Empaxis to where it is now, it takes high-quality, committed people to carry out these efforts.
We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for hiring the right people, and over the years, we have
perfected our recruiting and hiring practices so that we ensure only quality individuals join our team.
I am proud to say that many of these quality team members have been with us for several years, and some have been here for 10+ years.
This continuity has helped us implement our vision of creating a world-class back-office operations for investment managers, and it goes without saying that our clients benefit from Empaxis’ continuity.
When talking about high-quality people, we are not only referring to one’s skill sets for the job; we are referring to one’s character. We look for selfless, good-natured individuals who believe in doing a good job for a good job’s sake, and we’ve fostered a work environment that attracts talented portfolio accounting specialists who fit that description. In turn, these staff members are motivated to deliver quality work for the clients on a consistent basis.
As much of our team has been together for many years, it starts to feel like a family atmosphere, and when the people you work with feel like family, there is a greater sense of accountability and commitment to the well-being of the organization. From executive management down to the reporting
analysts, I am very thankful for our team’s dedication.
Delivering World-Class Operations Outsourcing for the Future
In light of what we have accomplished, we are “not satisfied”. Sure, we celebrate our achievements, but we don’t rest on our laurels. With each celebration, we use that as motivation to do more.
We continuously measure and track our performance, and we are always developing new solutions and workarounds to the challenges investment managers face in their operations.
Consistency, persistence, and having the right people make a big difference, but there are many other lessons I have learned along the way, and I look forward to sharing those at a later time.
I would like to say thank you to all of our clients and everyone who has helped make Empaxis’ vision a reality, and I look forward to what the future has in store.
Happy Birthday Empaxis!
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